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Hey, Kahl! Stay off the grass!
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It would have been a classic sliding-dive into a swimming pool — but not into a concrete driveway — ouch!

It was a long time ago when I was in the Army’s helicopter mechanic school in Dothan, Alabama where the citizenry put, “Soldiers, Stay off the Grass” signs in their front yards.  They didn’t want the troops cutting across their lawns or anywhere on their property.

Ft. Rucker, Alabama was known for one thing when orders were issued — it was HOT.

My last memory of that place was the day before we headed out with new orders.  I was involved in a detail assigned to white wash the concrete block supports beneath the old WW II barracks with lime.  I got some of that in the crease above my eyelid.  I didn’t go to sick call because I didn’t want by flight home delayed for my 30-day leave.  That was a big mistake.

Well, now fast forwarding to Monday with a trip to our bank on North Main Street.  I wanted to check on a sick friend by chatting with a member of his family at one of the desks.  As I was walking back to my car in the parking lot, I cut across “the grass” rather than taking the walkway — another big mistake. 

Getting to the edge of the grass, the heel of my right shoe caught on the concrete berm at the edge of the concrete driveway.  Arms at my side, the concrete slapped me in the face in what felt like a graceful 45 degree dive catching me across the nose, the forehead and the cheek bone where it did quite a number leaving two sizable hematomas.

One guy who I had seen entering the bank as I was leaving came running up telling me not to move and another bent over with two clean wash cloths.  “Here use this to put pressure on your face and stop the bleeding,” he said.  Both were good guys. I thanked them but never got their names.  Thanks again you two!

One of the women from the bank yelled out the door saying they had called 911.  It wasn’t too long before they could be heard coming — sirens weren’t necessary, thinking I was ok, just dripping blood.

It was getting a little embarrassing at that point, especially when the fire engine followed by the ambulance pulled up.  One firefighter shouted, “Hey, it’s Glenn.”  I responded asking what took them so long.  It was actually only about three minutes.  With my news coverage of the fire guys, there is nothing I can say anything but good about them.

Two of the bank’s staffers Patrick O’Rourke and Karen Macedo stood by until those first responders helped me up out of my embarrassing pool of blood.  Head and face wounds bleed the worst I am told.  There was a perfect impression from by glasses frame on my cheekbone. The ambulance EMT took my blood pressure and wanted to give me a ride in the ambulance — all of them agreeing I might need a couple of stitches next to my eye.  Everyone kept asking if I had lost consciousness or felt dizzy.  No, not none of the above.

I took my own car to the hospital emergency room.  O’Rourke insisted he drive and Karen Macedo was in her car following us.  They both stayed until I left the ER about 40 minutes later.  Everybody kept telling me to go home but I had an important story to write before that could happen.

My deepest thanks to Pat O’Rourke and Karen Macedo for being there for me.

It wasn’t really that obvious on how important those signs were outside Fort Rucker when they ordered, “Soldiers, stay off the grass.”

The bank needs to take a lead from Dothan with a sign of their own: “Kahl, Stay Off the Grass!”